State Watch

Walmart closing 4 stores in Chicago

Walmart announced on Tuesday plans to close four stores in the Chicago area in the coming months. 

In a news release, the U.S.-based retailer said the reason for the store closures is due to the failure to meet financial expectations since the city opened it’s first store in 2006. The company noted that four stores in particular were losing tens of millions of dollars a year, adding that their annual losses nearly doubled in the last five years.

The stores — located in the Chathem, Kenwood, Lakeview and Little Village neighborhoods — will close to the public by this Sunday, leaving just four others within the Windy City.

“The remaining four Chicago stores continue to face the same business difficulties, but we think this decision gives us the best chance to help keep them open and serving the community,” the company said in its news release. 

“Over the years, we have tried many different strategies to improve the business performance of these locations, including building smaller stores, localizing product assortment and offering services beyond traditional retail,” the company added, noting that it had invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the city in the recent years to upgrade area stores and build two new Walmart Health facilities and a Walmart Academy training center.

“It was hoped that these investments would help improve our stores’ performance. Unfortunately, these efforts have not materially improved the fundamental business challenges our stores are facing,” the company said. 

Employees from the closing stores would be eligible to transfer to another store within the area, according to the company.

They also outlined plans to work with local leaders to find reuse options for the soon-to-be-closed stores, and said they intend to donate to the community to help further strengthen Chatham and the surrounding neighborhoods.

“The associates at these stores have made an incredible difference for their customers and communities and every store is filled with stories of associates achieving remarkable things for others and for themselves,” Walmart said in their announcement on Tuesday. “We are grateful for everything they have done. They are our priority during this transition.”

“We are grateful to our associates for their contributions to their communities and for the customers who have given us the privilege of serving them at these Chicago locations,” the company added.

The news comes as the company recently closed three other stores in the suburbs last month for a similar reason, according to Chicago-based affiliate WGN-TV, a Nexstar-owned station. 

Tags Chicago Illinois store closings store closures Walmart Walmart Inc.

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